Wonder why you need to disinfect your home? Learn why you should, along with how to do it, and 12 things you need to disinfect in your home.
Ever wonder what the difference is between decluttering, deep cleaning, and disinfecting?
For years, I thought that cleaning was cleaning. But the longer that I focus on homemaking, the more that I realize the distinct differences between the three:
- Decluttering is perfect when you have too much stuff – or not even too much, but more than you’d like. When it’s time to declutter, it’s time to purge your home from unnecessary belongings.
- Deep cleaning is when you scrub your home. It’s a perfect time to wipe away cobwebs, polish furniture, and make sure everything is really, truly clean. (Get a free deep cleaning checklist here!) When you deep clean, you might remove germs. But there’s another step
- Disinfecting should be done when you need to get the germs out of your home. While it’s a lot like deep cleaning, you end up using the big guns – antibacterial or antimicrobial products to actually kill the germs. By taking an extra step to disinfect, you can lower your risk of spreading infection.
In the middle of cold and flu season – or a global pandemic like the Coronavirus – you might start to realize your home could use a whole bunch of disinfecting.
What Products Will Disinfect?
Once you know you want to disinfect your home, what products do you need to get?
While anti-bacterial sprays are nice to keep on hand, they only remove bacteria – not viruses. To truly disinfect a surface you’ll need:
As a rule of thumb, cleaning solutions should contain at least 70 percent alcohol to effectively disinfect. Or, plain old isopropyl alcohol will do the trick.
Easier on the environment (and humans!) than bleach, hydrogen peroxide is an effective disinfectant.
If you use a harsh disinfectant like bleach, use caution! You can dilute it with water (1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water) – and you should wear gloves while using it. Also, if at all possible, open a window to air out the bleach fumes.
Note: If you clean a surface with cloths or rags instead of disinfecting wipes, wash them first, then boil in hot water to disinfect.
How Can You Disinfect Surfaces?
Just wiping surfaces clean with the disinfecting products only cleans them. The proper way to disinfect is to first scrub a surface with disinfectant until it’s wet. Then, let the wet, scrubbed surface air dry.
How Often Should You Disinfect?
Some sources recommend disinfecting these high traffic surfaces at least once to even several times a day at the height of cold and flu season or a pandemic. But the frequency is up to you, based on how often you use the surfaces.
You can clean your home — and keep it clean! You just need to know what to do and then follow through with a cleaning strategy that works for YOU and your home. From Mess to Success can help!
12 Things to Disinfect In Your Home
After you’ve gathered your cleaning supplies, it’s time to get disinfecting! Here are 12 areas that always could use some disinfection:
Faucets and handles
Undoubtedly, there should be a lot of hand washing going on in your home. Where do you touch as you’re getting ready to wash your hands? Faucet handles. Remember to disinfect them!
Make sure to disinfect the doorknobs on all entry and exit doors in your home as well as all interior doorknobs.
Another high-touch area in your home is switchplates. You don’t want to pick up germs while turning on the lights – so make sure to disinfect!
Kitchen counters and bathroom vanities deal with a lot of touching every day. Whether you’re setting down the daily mail, preparing meals, collecting dirty dishes, or have a resting spot for toothbrushes, make sure you disinfect countertops daily.
Like countertops, tabletops harbor germs, too. Since you most likely eat at a table, make sure it’s disinfected!
Did you know that cell phones are some of the dirtiest surfaces around? They’re even much dirtier than toilet seats. They’re easy to disinfect with small isopropyl alcohol wipes. And it’s important to clean them all year long – not only during cold and flu season.
Like cell phones, remote controls can house lots of germs. Frequently disinfect them.
Since all you do is touch a computer keyboard (and keep touching it with every key you press), its surface needs frequent disinfection.
If you use stair railings in your home, don’t forget to clean them thoroughly!
Just as you should clean faucet handles, don’t forget about actually cleaning your kitchen and bathroom sinks. All kinds of germs have a heyday in sinks – whether they come from rinsing raw food down your kitchen drain or spitting out toothpaste in the bathroom. Sinks can be filthy places in your home that need frequent disinfection.
Toilet seats and rims always are good surfaces to disinfect. The more people use them, the more frequently they should be cleaned.
Now that you know why you should disinfect, what you should use to disinfect, how to disinfect, how often you should disinfect, and what you need to disinfect, it’s time to get cleaning!
What surface do you disinfect most frequently? What surface do you need to remember to disinfect?
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All images courtesy of Deposit Photos.